Guidelines for Action Plan Development-deans

The final step of Academic Program Review is the submission and approval of an Action Plan or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is initiatied by the academic unit, approved by the dean, and discussed with the provost. It is the provost who approves the final MOU.

The purpose of the MOU is to define the unit’s direction for the next 5-7 years, based upon information and recommendations provided at various stages in the review process (the self-study, the external reviewers’ report, and the CAP report).

I. Process.  When developing your MOU, recommendations contained within the CAP Report and the External Reviewers’ Report should be addressed. If the unit disagrees with a recommendation, the MOU should articulate the basis for this disagreement.  If the unit agrees with a recommendation, the recommendation may be incorporated into the MOU.

Once the unit’s MOU is drafted, it should be forwarded to the appropriate Dean for review and comment. After the dean has approved its content the dean will forward the MOU to the associate provost for institutional effectiveness who will arrange a discussion meeting with the provost.

II. MOU Format. MOU should describe in detail the goals for the next five to seven years. This includes:

  1. Status of action items from prior action plan or departmental review.
  2. Major findings in current review (i.e. CAP Report and External Reviewer’s Report)
  3. Specific action steps over the next seven years (to be accomplished within college/departmental resources) to improve the department – note that these will be reviewed by the external reviewers in the next round of program review. This is the most important section of the review and should identify evidence to support these directions and the resources to implement the plan.